Musical Ride entertains
Riders and horses perform in formation to music during the RCMP Musical Ride in Swift Current.
Huddled under blankets and umbrellas, an appreciative crowd braved the unrelenting wind and rain to watch 32 horses and riders perform the historic cavalry drills set to music, known collectively as the RCMP Musical Ride. There were two performances May 26 and 27 at Kinetic Park.
Opening with a presentation courtesy of the Living Sky Casino to promote their upcoming second Annual Pow Wow July 5 - 6, the audience was treated to flute playing and singing in addition to drumming and variations of the chicken and jingle (healing) dances.
As the RCMP and horses filled the arena, Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson accepted the traditional salute that is an important part of many formal equestrian performances.
The spongy footing in the arena was better once the horses had packed it down a bit, and the bracing weather kept them in high spirits throughout the presentation. The horses must be able to execute the various drills at the walk, trot and canter.
The conclusion of the performance was the March Past performed to the music of the RCMP’s Regimental March. A second salute was afforded the guest of honour as they left the arena.
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the evening was the chance to meet the horses and riders in Barn 6 after the show, in relative warmth and comfort. Every day, the horses chomp through 568 kilograms of Timothy hay, 57kilogramsof oats and 170kilogramsof complete feed during their stay, and bed down in 72 bales of pine shavings.
With names like Africa, Turbo, Copper, Hector, Vimy, Sheriff, Steele and Renoir, and with personalities as diverse as their names, these horses are more than selectively bred Thoroughbreds and Hanoverians; they are heroes to millions of people around the world.
At the respectable age of 22, Hector is the oldest equine in the show this year, and has earned the right to be a little nippy as he anticipates his well-deserved dinner. “He thinks everything in your hand is a carrot,” explained his rider to the very young children who were eager to pet him.
Every other year, equine enthusiasts have a chance to purchase surplus RCMP horses, brood mares or former Musical Ride horses at the RCMP Horse Auction held in Ottawa. Selling prices from the 2009 auction ranged from $4,000 to $23,500. Some horses may be Hanoverian certified, meaning they meet strict conformation standards. For information on this year’s auction, e-mail [email protected] with Horse Auction as the subject.
Riders and horses show fine form as they trot in formation to music during the RCMP Musical Ride in Swift Current.
First Nations dancers open the RCMP Musical Ride and helped promote the Living Sky Casino’s second Annual Pow Wow on July 5 - 7.
“Rocamo” was the Official Equine Greeter as Barn 6 at Kinetic Park was opened to the public following Thursday’s performance of the RCMP Musical Ride. All riders have to feed their horses and clean their tack as they answer questions and hand out...